Friday, February 11, 2011

Ouchie: Auditions



"Hi, there," I said, and shot her a smile.

"Hi," she whispered back.

"You can go right over there and take a seat on that chair."

She crossed the classroom with arms plastered to her sides and her eight-year-old head tucked into her chest. She sat, took in her surroundings and then met my eyes.

I had to remind myself that a mere seven years ago this child was maybe crawling and perhaps attempting to take first steps. Today she was auditioning to join my Shakespeare Club and scale the heights of language and story far beyond what those Berenstain Bears were up to.

"Cassie, the first thing I'd like you do is close your eyes and take a deep breath all the way into your tummy and hold it."

She did as I asked and made it through five deep breaths while keeping her eyes closed.

I start this way with all auditioners to see if they can take direction and to help them relax.

"Okay, Cassie, you can open your eyes. Thanks for coming in today. It's brave thing to come here all alone and do an audition. I'm impressed."

She blinked, stared and said nothing.

"Cassie, can you tell my why you think you would like to be in The Shakespeare Club?"

She looked at her little fingers for answers and gave a small shrug.

"Was it your idea or someone else's idea that this might be a good thing for you to do?"

She met my look.

"Well, my mom...." She couldn't finish the sentence.

"Did you look over the lines for the audition?"

She nodded.

"These are fairy lines from the play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' The fairies are making a bed for the Fairy Queen to go to sleep on and they want to make sure all the creepy crawlers in the forest leave their queen alone. Do you understand that?"

"Yes." She exhaled a puff of air.

"Cassie?"

She looked at me with sorrowful brown eyes and twisted her fingers tighter into each other.

"Would you like to go back to your classroom now and not do this?"

Up and down, the tiny chin confirmed.

"Good girl, that's exactly what you're going to do. This Shakespeare Club stuff isn't for everyone. I'm really glad I got to meet you and now you can go back to your room. Hug?"

She wrapped her arms around my thighs, I touched the top of her shiny dark hair and led her to the door.

Exhale.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
I want to be in Shakespeare club because I know it will be a good experyonce and I will lern alot! I am glade it is not the time perode of Willeom Shakesper because the girls got no egication, and had to stay home all day and soe, clean, and well I forgot what else!
—Rebecca, 3rd grade

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